Action star Liam Neeson (70) has revealed in a new interview with "Rolling Stone" that he turned down the iconic James Bond role because of his wife. In the early 1990s, Neeson was contacted several times by Bond producer Barbara Broccoli (62). She asked him if he was interested in the famous role of the double zero agent, to which Neeson replied: "Yes, I would be interested". However, his wife Natasha Richardson (1963-2009), who died in 2009, did not like it at all.
During the shooting of the drama "Nell" (1994), for which Neeson and Richardson were together in front of the camera, his future wife opened up to him: "'Liam, I want to tell you something: If you play James Bond, we're not getting married' ".
"She gave me a James Bond ultimatum and she meant it," explains Neeson. The Hollywood star attributes Richardson's dislike of the Bond role to "all these beautiful girls in different countries" who "get in and out of bed. I'm sure a lot of their decision was based on that".
Neeson followed his longtime wife's wishes. In the years that followed, however, he would occasionally hum the famous James Bond tune to himself for fun and pretend to have a gun in front of Richardson. "I loved doing that," Neeson said.
Instead of the star of such films as "96 Hours" (2008), "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace" (1999) and "Schindler's List" (1993) then Irish actor Pierce Brosnan (69) became James Bond. He embodied the agent character invented by Ian Fleming (1908-1964) in four films between 1995 and 2002.